Archive - Sports Article
June 1st, 2014
Sports editor emeritus
PROVIDENCE â Unbeaten Tolman High, which has won two of the last three Division II state volleyball championships, found itself in a heap of trouble on Sunday night in the 2014 tourney semifinals against West Warwick.
The Tigers were tied 2-2 after four games had been completed at the Providence Career and Technical Academyâs sports facility off Westminster Street, right next to Central Highâs campus.
âWe needed to win,â Tolmanâs Eric Silveira admitted after the Tigers pulled out a 15-9 victory in the decisive fifth game. âThere was a lot of pressure on us.â
PAWTUCKET -- It was tough to guess who was more excited after the PFC Kyle Joseph Coutu Memorial 5K at Slater Park, the raceâs winner, Anthony Gonsalves, or the race committee.
Gonsalves, a 2008 graduate of Tolman High and a middle distance standout for the Tigersâ indoor and outdoor track teams, won for the third time in the four-year history of the event by topping a field of more than 300 runners in a time of 16:42.
PAWTUCKET â As a 34-year-old with 181 games of pitching experience at the major-league level under his belt, Rich Hill is well aware thereâs a whole other realm to keep in mind while recording outs on the mound.
WARWICK -- The way Lincoln had been swinging the bats during its eight-game win streak, it was going to take a remarkable pitching performance to cool off the Lionsâ assault.
Anthony Graziano provided such an outing on Friday afternoon.
The Bishop Hendricken senior tossed a superb one-hitter that included eight strikeouts and two walks to lead the two-time defending state champs to a 5-0 shutout of the Lions in a Region I winnersâ bracket game of the Division I playoffs at Ray Pepin Field.
PAWTUCKET â For much of Thursday, the Red Sox were tight-lipped as far as naming a starting pitcher for Saturdayâs game against Tampa Bay.
To borrow from the well-known fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, a trail of breadcrumbs was left around McCoy Stadium on Thursday afternoon prior to Pawtucket wrapping up its four-game series with Gwinnett. The breadcrumbs may have not formed a path that led directly to the locker room of the intended PawSox pitcher who will take Clay Buchholzâ spot, though their mere metaphorical presence did help to shed some light on the matter.
CUMBERLAND â Cumberland didnât need to seek the services of a witch doctor or a sorcerer to eradicate the single-elimination playoff round curse that had plagued the team in recent years.
Instead, the Clippers parlayed the strong three-hit pitching of Juliet Nelson with some errorless defense and clutch hitting into a 7-0 triumph over Westerly at Tucker Field that not only exorcised their demons, but also vaulted them into the double-elimination portion of the Division I state tournament.
Sports editor emeritus
PAWTUCKET â Hayley Microulis, the lone senior on St. Raphael Academyâs roster, took charge on Thursday when the Saints opened the Division II playoffs against Burrillville in the single-elimination portion of the tournament.
âI wanted to make a statement about how much I love playing softball for St. Raphael Academy,â Microulis said after knocking in three runs and scoring another in a 4-0 victory that sent the Saints into the double-elimination phase of the playoffs, probably on Saturday against the Moses Brown-Cranston East survivor.
PAWTUCKET â Nearly seven months have passed since Stephen Drew last appeared in a major-league game.
Naturally, the goal is to see as many pitches as possible following such a lengthy layoff. Given that this is considered spring training for Drew, something he acknowledged prior to going 1-for-3 with two strikeouts in Pawtucketâs 3-0 victory over Gwinnett at frigid McCoy Stadium on Wednesday night, thereâs also a sense of urgency on the shortstopâs part.
PAWTUCKET â At long last, Danny Redshaw can enjoy all the perks that come with subscribing to the MLB Extra Innings package.
âIt will be nice to turn on the TV and see a young man who you were fortunate enough to coach in high school and has gone on to play Major League baseball,â Redshaw admitted when reached via cell phone.
PAWTUCKET â The PawSox offense is abysmal this season, ranking as one of the most futile in the International League.
That is not exactly âstop the presses materialâ to anyone who has watched this team up close. Theyâve seen plenty of 3-2 victories and 4-1 defeats. The PawSox bused back to Rhode Island in the wee hours Monday morning possessors of a seven-game losing streak, a dubious mark that has seen them bat .212 over that span. The weekend in Syracuse saw the locals go 23 innings without scoring a single run.
PAWTUCKET â For Travis Shaw, the process of getting out of Double-A Portland began in earnest at last yearâs Arizona Fall League.
âLast year was a fluke, that wasnât me. I got so far away from my approach,â stated the 23-year-old Shaw prior to making his Triple-A debut with the PawSox Monday night.
The first baseman was referencing his 2013 numbers with the Sea Dogs, ones that consisted of a high strikeout total (117 whiffs in 444 at-bats), low batting average (.221 in 127 games) and a career low on-base percentage (.342).
Two high-ranking members of the New York Yankeesâ minor-league branch believe that the offensive struggles that Mason Williams has endured for nearly two months are not cause for panic.
Williams, a 22-year-old who spent his formative years growing up in Pawtucket before moving to Winter Garden, Fla. following the completion of seventh grade at St. Teresa School, is in the midst of a deep slump. Thereâs no easy way to sugarcoat the .199 batting average and .295 on-base percentage he brought into Fridayâs game for Double-A Trenton (he stood at .191 prior to Thursdayâs two-hit performance).
PAWTUCKET â Rich Sauveur firmly believes that all five current members of the PawSoxâ starting rotation possess the ability to hold down jobs at pro baseballâs highest level.
âWhether itâs with Boston or with somebody else, theyâre going to start in the big leagues. I really feel that,â said Pawtucketâs pitching coach with a straight face. âI couldnât tell you when or with who, but they will.â
PAWTUCKET â Springtime may have finally sprung in southern New England, but Pawtucketâs bats remain in a deep slumber.
The offensive doldrums that have plagued the locals for much of the season perhaps simmered to a boil during the eighth inning of Tuesdayâs disheartening 3-0 loss to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, winners of three games in this four-game set. With two runners on base and the potential tying run at the plate, the PawSox turned to their Nos. 4 and 5 hitters in the hope seeing a ball disappear over the McCoy Stadium fence.
CUMBERLAND â Cumberland and Lincoln have hooked up in some interesting late-season matchups over the years, and on Tuesday afternoon, they continued this tradition with an extra-inning barnburner at Tucker Field.
After watching Lincoln score an unearned run in the top of the eighth inning, Cumberland came back to snag a dramatic 8-7 victory in its half of the frame on a clutch two-out, two-run single to right field by ace pitcher Juliet Nelson.
PAWTUCKET -- Monday night marked the 21st game of Daniel Navaâs penance with the PawSox.
The gone-but-certainly-not-forgotten Red Sox outfielder/first baseman carried a .275 batting average, .370 on-base percentage and a .435 slugging mark out to his right-field post while looking to extend a nine-game hitting streak.
WOONSOCKET â The Keith Carney who was enshrined into Mount St. Charlesâ Athletic Hall of Fame last Friday night was the picture of serenity â suggesting that after 17 years in the NHL, retirement agrees with him.
CUMBERLAND --- For the past few years, the sand volleyball courts in the back of Fore Court Racquet & Fitness Club on Cray Street had been vacant and pretty much forgotten.
But when a club member approached Dave Morin, the president and general manager of Fore Court, about the possibility of transforming the big outdoor space into a training center for obstacle racing, the wheels went into motion.
Providing quality without paying quantity.
Thatâs the mindset of the R.I. Strikers FC premier youth soccer organization as it kicks off its second season of existence.
After fielding five teams last season, including an Under-13 boysâ squad that captured the R.I. State Cup, the Strikers are looking to expand to nine teams this summer and include young talent from across the Blackstone Valley.
And theyâre doing so with the repeat promise of offering the lowest premier fees in southeastern New England.
PAWTUCKET â In what now will be an absolute annual clash between the city's two public high schools, Tolman and Shea delivered a strange, sloppy affair inside the Pawtucket Red Sox' long-standing home on Tuesday afternoon.
All told, the two squads combined for 11 errors (with three batters reaching on strikeouts gone bad), six wild pitches, two passed balls and three hit batsmen.
The contest also saw the Tigers jump out to a 6-1 cushion, then watch aimlessly as the Raiders tied it at 6-6 with a quartet in the top of the fourth.